Phillies: Cole Hamels drawing interest from several teams

Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies ace Cole Hamels is focused on returning healthy in 2021.

The Philadelphia Phillies will likely be perusing the free-agent market this offseason in search of a starting pitcher to replace Jake Arrieta.

With the franchise reportedly in a “financial crunch” amid the COVID-19 crisis and no clear internal options currently — other than Spencer Howard and Vince Velasquez — the organization will have to get creative to replace the 2015 Cy Young Award winner and 2016 World Series champion.

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Perhaps, a reunion could be made with the Phillies’ 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player, Cole Hamels. Tuesday afternoon, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that the soon-to-be 37-year-old has received interest from “several teams” so far this offseason. Heyman did not identify the Phillies, nor any other team, specifically by name as potentially having interest in the left-hander.

Hamels is reportedly working out every day, and is focused on being healthy and “ready to go” for the 2021 season. “If teams want to see him in person he’d consider showcasing, assuming it can be done,” Heyman adds.

Hamels made just one start for the Atlanta Braves this past season (0-1, 8.10 ERA) — on a one-year, $18 million deal — due to him battling left triceps tendinitis and left shoulder fatigue.

The Phillies should consider bringing back Hamels on an incentive-driven contract; it would be a “low-hanging fruit,” much-needed move to appease fans, amid an offseason filled with seemingly one frustrating headline after another.

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More than five years have passed since the southpaw last pitched in red pinstripes — a late-July no-hitter opposite the Chicago Cubs at the historic Wrigley Field. Hamels has earned just one All-Star nod since, the 2016 season with the Texas Rangers in which he went 15-5 with a 3.32 ERA across 32 starts. Hamels received similar honors with the Phillies in 2007, 2011, and 2012.

Only four Phils pitchers have been named All-Stars since: fellow left-hander Cliff Lee (2013); franchise saves leader Jonathan Papelbon (2015); reliever Pat Neshek (2017); and their current ace, Aaron Nola (2018).

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